Safety and security Print

Design Outcome

​​​​Design Checklist

  • The mixed use development promotes safety through design
  • Residents and visitors perceive the development as safe
  • The development contributes a sense of safety to the neighbouring public domain​


The built environment within a mixed use development will not only influence users’ perceptions of safety and security, but will also create or reduce opportunities for crime and vandalism. 

A well-designed development may make it unnecessary to implement organised (security guards & patrols) or mechanical (burglar alarms & closed circuit television) security measures. Furthermore, a development that feels safe will attract people to use it, which support any retail and commercial uses on the site.

The key principles of designing a safe and secure environment are:
  • enabling the casual surveillance of communal/public areas from both public and private areas. (In other words, increasing opportunities for casual people watching)
  • managing access to a development by providing safe entry, circulation and exit, and restricting entry to certain areas
  • clearly defining site boundaries and encouraging a sense of community ownership
  • ensuring the development is maintained to convey community care and attention

Better Design Practice

Improve for opportunities for casual surveillance of communal/public areas.​

This can be achieved by:
  • locating windows and balconies to provide views onto the street and other outdoor spaces
  • orientating habitable areas to have views over public or communal outdoor spaces
  • designing corner and bay windows, and balconies that project beyond the main facade to enable a wider angle of vision to the street and communal spaces
  • providing casual views of common internal areas, such as lobbies and foyers, hallways, recreation areas and car parks
  • creating clear sight lines through the development
  • providing adequate lighting in communal areas.​

Reinforce a mixed use development’s boundary to strengthen the distinction between public and private spaces.​​​​

Boundary definition may be actual or inferred and can include:
  • employing a level change at the site boundary and/or building threshold (subject to accessibility needs)
  • changes in paving materials between the street and development
  • signage, entrance canopies, fences, walls, screens and gates.​

Minimise opportunities for conce​alment within the development.

This can be achieved by:
  • avoiding blind spots or dark alcoves near entrances, lifts and stairwells, and within car parks, corridors and walkways
  • providing well-lit routes throughout the development
  • providing appropriate levels of illumination for all common areas
  • providing illumination higher than minimum standards for car parks and entrances.​

Control access to the development.​​

The development should minimise opportunities for unauthorised access. Key methods for achieving this include:
  • ensuring units are inaccessible from the balconies, roofs and windows of neighbouring buildings
  • separating and controlling access to parking for the residential component of a development from the parking for other uses
  • providing direct access from residential car parks to internal lobbies
  • providing an audio or video intercom system in entrances or lobbies for residential occupants to communicate with visitors
  • providing key-card access for residents.​

Rules of Thumb

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